Check out the latest news from DCP, including field reports filed by our researchers busy doing science at one of our many research sites.

Maya Key to our hearts!
31 Dec 2019

Maya Key to our hearts!

Dolphins! We started our day bright and early with dolphins … of course, we had the water taxi ride over to Baileys at 6:15 AM. We worked with the space-use data sheets for our first time this morning in association with Kathleen’s data collection session. It was nice to see the comparison of details for when Kathleen was with the dolphins versus when she was not. The sheets helped focus what I wanted or should document for data. Overall, the dolphins seemed less active this morning (at least at the surface of the water) than yesterday. It was cool because we could pay attention to more subtle behaviors. A delicious breakfast was followed by a discussion of our data sheets…
Let’s Start Snorkeling … and, oh yes, Dolphins!
30 Dec 2019

Let’s Start Snorkeling … and, oh yes, Dolphins!

Since this is our first field report, everyone will contribute their most memorable event from today. Alyssa – for me today, the most memorable part was when one of the dolphins came up and tried to get us to play with it. But because we did not play “correctly” it left to hang out with his/her friends. (Maybe tomorrow I will be able to recognize him/her!) Zach – One of the dolphins presented us with seaweed … almost tried to drop it onto the dock. But since we did not take it, we hope there’s no hard feelings … before tomorrow’s session. Sydney – Morgan and me were sitting on the dock and one of the dolphins came up under…
Touch Down! A glorious arrival day!
29 Dec 2019

Touch Down! A glorious arrival day!

My flight from Miami was delightful! And the arrival was spectacular! It was one of the first times in a while that I could see Anthony’s Key and Bailey’s Key on approach to Roatan! The sea was flat calm and only a few clouds in the sky! I arrived mid-day and was not pleasantly pleased when I saw the MVA rugged case was open when on the carousel! One of the latches had been broken off and the zip-ties I’d applied had not been replaced after TSA searched the case. Luckily, the MVA was undamaged, or at least seems to be the case. I’ll confirm in the morning tomorrow. The CSU group were mostly late on arrival since their flight…
Dixie and Baloo
29 Dec 2019

Preparations – checking gear, packing!

Friday was spent packing gear, making sure the cameras (AX100 and GoPros) were packed with the batteries and cards. I had all the data sheets and field binder set and also the DCP 20th Anniversary treats! (Can you believe DCP turns 20 this coming year?!) Of course, as I packed gear, bathing suits, wetsuit, clothing, mask, fins and snorkel and other tidbits, Dixie and Baloo shifted between being nosy and trying to add their toys to the cases with giving me the cold shoulder versus sitting in judgement of me! This photo shows the latter. I gave them both big hugs (and a biscuit!) and they seemed to be ok with the fact that I’d be heading out to observe…

Holiday Ordering Deadlines

Interested in an Adopt-A-Wild-Dolphin kit or Adopt-A-Wild-Dolphin kit + Dolphin Bracelet bundle as a Christmas or Hanukkah present?  Order by 12/19 for expected delivery* by 12/25 with free, standard shipping. Order by 12/21 for expected delivery* by 12/25 with expedited shipping (additional fee). *To US address. DCP can ship to non-US addresses, but cannot estimate arrival dates.

For you: The latest issue of The Dolphin Gazette

2019 is nearly over! As we reflect on our gratitude for all your support, you can check out new opportunities to join DCP that are right around the corner. Plus, meet DCP's newest named dolphin - Kiwi, check out holiday gift ideas, help folks in The Bahamas & learn about our recent & upcoming publications & presentations. This issue of the Dolphin Gazette is perfect for reading by the fire or under a palm tree, depending on where you live! Thanks for reading - and sharing!

Long-term Bonds: Social Structure of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) off Bimini, The Bahamas (2003-2016) – WMMC & upcoming publication!

DCP is very excited about our poster presentation at the World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona, Spain. Lead author and long-time DCP assistant/student, Nicole presented our work on associations among the spotted dolphins off Bimini. If you saw the poster in person, thank you for your interest in learning more! Abstract: This study is the first to investigate the social patterns of a population of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) off Bimini, The Bahamas, during a 14-year period (2003-2016). We generated association indices and conducted cluster, network, and temporal analyses using SOCPROG 2.8. Dolphins in this group display long-term, year-round residency around Bimini, as well as long-term preferences in association with a combination of rapid disassociation, constant companions, and casual…

Examining shark bite scars on bottlenose dolphins off Bimini (WMMC)

Thanks for visiting our poster at the 2019 World Marine Mammal Conference. We're excited you wanted to learn more. DCP has been studying bottlenose and Atlantic spotted dolphins off Bimini, The Bahamas since 2001. In 2014, we published a short note on the evidence of failed shark attacks on the spotted dolphins. Now, we've conducted a similar assessment on the sympatric bottlenose. At least 28.7% of catalogued bottlenose dolphins had at least one injury or scar that could confidently be atttributed to a shark. Another 27.1% of catalogued individuals had injuries or scars that we couldn't be sure where they came from. This means that at a minimum almost 29% of catalogued dolphins survived at least one shark attack....but, it…

TGIF - especially when in the field for research!

Friday was less windy but still a very full day! We were able to complete three sessions with each dolphin (hurray!) following our revised research protocol. We shifted our focus to assessing what preference the dolphins might have for each symbol (circle vs. star) and also identified a roster of ‘rewards’ for each symbol that the trainers currently consider “a little” or “a lot” for each specific dolphin. To rewind a bit - we we receiving results that were perplexing when coordinating training to assess whether the dolphins would consistently select the star (a lot). We saw a side bias and selection of the circle more than the star. So, either the dolphins were playing us or something else might…

Wind, Sun, Data Collection!

We had a wild ride on the ferry into Blue Lagoon Island on Thursday because of a rolling well and high winds. It was a reminder of just how unpredictable the ocean can be to folks who spend their lives on and around it! We were able to conduct four sessions with Zig and Ludwig and to see if Finn might participate a bit in these request sessions. That is, we are looking to see if the dolphins will show a preference between two symbols - a circle and a star. The circle equates to only a little of something while the star means “a lot”! So if we use fish, the circle would be 1 capelin and the star…

Limited Edition DCP Shirts!

It's baaaaaaack! Your chance to get a DCP shirt! This year, our adult short sleeve (5 colors) and adult long sleeve (white & gray) feature a throwback to DCP's original logo. 2020 is our 20th Anniversary! Women's tanks (2 styles, 4 colors each) and UPF50 rashguards (4 colors) are also available featuring our current logo. This special order period ends on Monday (Nov 18th). Shirts and bundles are expected to ship ~26 December. So, while they won't arrive for Christmas & Hanukkah, they will be worth the wait. By pre-ordering your shirt, you help DCP reduce the overhead of placing the shirt order with our printer (Thank you!!). Click here to order yours now!

An Excellent Data Collection Day!

On Wednesday, we were able to conduct 4 sessions each with Ludwig and Zig for the delay gratification early training (to assess preference between the circle and star) and we also were able to get 3 sessions with Finn. It was a productive day and in this photo, you can see Heather and Te-Shalla setting up for a session with Ludwig. Both Zig and Ludwig are showing a side bias in their selection of the symbols, even though they both switched sides between sessions! Finn was new to this research and at the end of his first session decided to make both Heather and Te-Shalla wet with a high breach! We also collected several 5-min respiration samples of Bella, Laguna,…

Returning to Dolphin Encounters for Research!

Heather and I arrived to Nassau on Tuesday afternoon for our current few days of data collection on the dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island home of Dolphin Encounters (DE). We met up with Annette, Director of Education and Staff Development, to confirm the logistics of our visit. In this image, we are ready for our first full day of data collection! Heather and I will connect with Te-Shalla to continue our sessions to examine whether dolphins have a preference between two symbols that have been correlated to “little” (a circle) and “a lot” (a star). We will be working mostly with Zig and Ludwig, two young male bottlenose dolphins. We will also be collecting respiration versus activity level data on…

Animal Behavior & Psychology Field Course: space available

DCP is teaching several field courses at our Roatan field site. But, there is ONLY course with space available:   7 - 14 March 2020, Field Course in Animal Behavior & Psychology, in collaboration with St. Mary's University (StMU)   Remaining spaces are now open to non-StMU students. The course is taught by DCP's Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski and StMU Professor, Dr. Heather Hill. Tuition credits with StMU are not included, but are not required. Cost per student is $1550 (USD). This includes lodging, food, instruction and a dolphin swim and encounter. Tuition credits and airfare are not included. Email info[at]dcpmail[dot]org right away if you are interested! Remaining spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. To learn more about…

Calling College Students!!!

Dr. Deirdre Yeater is gearing up for her 7th field course with DCP, at our Bimini, The Bahamas field site. Field dates are May 26 - June 1, 2020. All participants must take the course for SHU credit, but with online and field components, non-SHU students are welcome & encouraged to apply. Click here to learn more and apply today! Application deadline is Dec 15th. What is a Bimini field course? This cross-listed, 200-level Field Course in Cetacean Ecology gives students the chance to learn about dolphin behavior, ecology, cognition and research - but not just through books and lectures. You'll learn by actually observing wild dolphins, from the boat and in the water! This isn't a traditional study abroad…

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Write to us via snail-mail at:

Dolphin Communication Project
P.O. Box 7485
Port St. Lucie, FL, 34985

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info {at} dcpmail {dot} org


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